Research: GAUCHARD and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 65

Abstract

GAUCHARD and colleagues, Equilibration et Performance Motrice, Unite de Formation et de Recherche en Sciences et Techniques des Activites Physiques et Sportives (UFR STAPS), Universite Henri Poincare-Nancy 1, Villers-les-Nancy, France investigated what types of physical activities might prove the most beneficial to retain or regain control of balance in elderly individuals.

Background

Age and lack of physical activities may result in poor balance control, and physical activities may modulate postural control in elderly people.

Methodology

The researchers studied 19 healthy individuals aged over 60 years who regularly practised proprioceptive (Group I) or bioenergetic (Group II) physical activities and 21 control subjects who only practised walking on a regular basis. All subjects underwent a dynamic posturographic test and a test to evaluate lower limb muscular strength.

Results

Control subjects showed the poorest balance and muscular performance. Group I subjects has the best postural control, with average muscular strength. Group II subjects had significantly increased muscular strength, but poor-quality balance control.

Conclusion

Proprioceptive exercise appears to have the best impact on balance control.

References

Gauchard GC et al. Beneficial effect of proprioceptive physical activities on balance control in elderly human subjects. Neuroscience Letters 273 (2): 81-4. Oct 1999.

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